Zoo-Aquarium de la Casa de Campo

This attractively landscaped Zoo-Aquarium de la Casa de Campo is located slap bang in the heart of the Casa de Campo. The animals look as happy as can be expected of beasts held in captivity, although the big cats could really do with a bit more leg-room.

At the Tierra de Gorilas ('Land of Gorillas') a sheet of reassuringly thick glass separates you from the massive, glowering silverbacks that prowl about. Children will enjoy walking through the shark tank and dolphinarium. There is also a petting zoo and a train ride.

Address Casa de Campo
Transport Metro Batán .
Telephone 91 512 37 70
Open 11am-dusk daily.

Admission €14.90; €12.20 under-8s, over-65s; free under-3s.


Templo de Debod

This Egyptian structure, Templo de Debod, which sits on the outskirts of the Parque del Oeste, dates back 2,200 years and is dedicated to the gods Amun and Isis. Templo de Debod was sent, block by block, by the Egyptian government in 1968 in thanks for Spain's help in preserving monuments threatened by the Aswan Dam.

Address Montaña del Príncipe Pío
Transport Metro Plaza de España or Ventura Rodríguez .
Telephone 91 366 74 15
Open 10am-2pm, 4-6pm Tue-Fri; 10am-2pm Sat, Sun.
Admission free.


Teleférico de Madrid

An extraordinary 2.5km (1.5-mile) trip over the Casa de Campo and Parque del Oeste in a cable car. The views of the Palacio Real, Río Manzanares, city skyline and park are breathtaking. There are even some interesting close-ups of the park's seedier goings-on.

Address Paseo del Pintor Rosales
Transport Metro Argüelles.
Telephone 91 541 74 50
Open Apr-Sept noon-8.30pm Mon-Fri; noon-9pm Sat, Sun. Oct-Mar noon-7pm Mon-Fri; noon-7.30pm Sat, Sun.
Tickets (return) €4.20; €3.30 concessions. Free under-3s.


Teatro Fernán Gómez - Centro de arte

Behind the deafening but refreshing water cascade in Plaza Colón, below the Columbus monument, is the city council's only purpose-built cultural centre. On offer is a mixed bag of theatre, puppets, opera and zarzuelas in the summer, as well as art exhibitions, usually featuring important Hispanic artists.

Address Jardines del Descubrimiento, Plaza de Colón
Transport Metro Colón .
Telephone 91 480 03 00
Open 10am-9pm Tue-Sat; 10am-7pm Sun.

Admission free.


Longoria Palace - Palacio Longoria

Given the extraordinary output of Catalan modernista architects such as Gaudí in Barcelona in the early 20th century, it is remarkable, to non-Spaniards at least, that there is not a single example of their work in Madrid. The only thing at all like it is this building in Chueca, designed by José Grasés Riera in 1902 as a residence for banker Javier González Longoria. The voluptuous façade of the Palacio Longoria looks as if it was formed out of wet sand, moulded by an expert in giant cake decoration. It was once thought that Catalan architecture influenced Grasés, but Héctor Guimard and French art nouveau seem to have been a more direct inspiration. Palacio Longoria is now owned by the Spanish writers' and artists' association.

Address C/Fernando VI, 4
Transport Metro Alonso Martínez .
Telephone 91 349 95 50


San Pedro el Viejo

This impressive Mudéjar brick tower dates from the 14th century, although the rest of the church dates from much later, having been rebuilt in the 17th century.

Address Costanilla de San Pedro
Transport Metro La Latina .
Telephone 91 365 12 84
Open 6-8pm daily (phone to check).
Admission free.


Church San Nicolás de los Servitas

The oldest surviving church in Madrid, San Nicolás de los Servitas, stands just a few minutes from Plaza de Oriente. San Nicolás de los Servitas 12th-century tower is one of two Mudéjar towers, built by Muslim craftsmen living under Christian rule, in the city. Most of the rest of the San Nicolás de los Servitas church was rebuilt later, during the 15th and 16th centuries.

Address Plaza San Nicolás
Transport Metro Ópera .
Telephone 91 559 40 64
Open 8.30am-1.30pm Mon; 9-9.30am, 6.30-8.30pm Tue-Sat; 10am-2pm, 6.30-8.30pm Sun.

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